MoHow Posted By Dr. MO In yesterday’s post I spoke about four keys to happiness…good relationships, flow, positive thinking , and positive self-talk… today I will describe four more keys. Each of these aspects fosters the likelihood of feeling happy and each is something that we can develop for ourselves.
Here they are:
1. Self-love. Unconditional kindness begins with self-acceptance. We need to be able to extend this loving kindness to ourselves before we can extend it to others. Whether we win or lose, succeed or fail, our self estimate needs to be based on our permanent value as a person, not on the transitory value of what we have achieved.
MoHow: Anytime you do not achieve a desired outcome remind your self that outcomes are behaviour, and that you are not your behaviour, you are are you. You can judge your behaviour without depreciating your self.
2. Ability to deal with difficulty. Scott Peck reminded us in his book with same title that “Life is difficult”. He went on to tell us that once we accept that ‘life is difficult’ that we can accept this fact and embrace it as an unalterable reality where ‘difficult’ does not mean ‘bad’.
MoHow: Our automatic thoughts are to equate difficult with bad. You can learn to replace this out of date thought with “Difficult equals challenging, challenging equals opportunity, opportunity equals chance to grow and improve.”
3. Sense of meaning and purpose. Having a big picture mission of what you want to accomplish in your life, and what you are dedicated to realizing over the long term, provide a safety net to help you keep going in life.
HoHow: Meaning and purpose are about inherent value, not external results. Choose to do things, all things, with an eye toward doing them well, learning, moving on, and improving. Live a life that is more centred on ‘how’ you do things, and less centred on ‘what’ you do.
4. Realistic expectations. One way to think about happiness, or unhappiness, is that they are equal to the gap between expectations and actual events, outcomes, or situations. When the gap is small, the likelihood of happiness is high, when the gap is large, the likelihood of unhappiness is high.
MoHow: Often we feel disappointed when we think that something should have happened in a situation, or somebody should have done something. This unhappiness is usually the result of some expectation not being realized. To be happier, replace ‘should’ with ‘preferred’… ‘I would have preferred if…”, more happiness will be the result.
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